Learning to Use Student Ideas in Elementary Science Teaching: The Influence of Mentor Teachers in Preservice Teachers' Developing Meanings
AuthorSchaub, Elsa Nunes
preservice teacher learning
Teaching & Teacher Education
elementary science teacher preparation
AdvisorGunckel, Kristin L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study explores the influence of mentor teachers in the meanings and practices that two elementary preservice teachers adopted about eliciting and using student ideas, while learning to teach science in the university science methods course and in the field placement classroom. Prior research on teacher development has shown that the high-leverage practice of eliciting and using student ideas can support preservice teachers in thinking about common problems of practice. I used four core problems of practice to examine the meanings and practices that preservice teachers adopted in eliciting and using student ideas as they planned, enacted and reflected on methods course assignments in the field placement classroom. Using sociocultural and situative perspectives on learning, I identified two factors that influenced the sense that preservice teachers constructed and the practices that they adopted about eliciting and using student ideas. These factors were mentor teacher's perspectives on learning and goals for student learning. I also examined three mechanisms by which mentor teacher's perspectives and goals influenced preservice teacher meanings and practices about eliciting and using student ideas in instruction, including mentor teacher's classroom practice, the nature and foci of mentor teacher and preservice teacher conversations and mentor teacher's use of preservice teachers' ideas in their conversations about instruction. The results suggest that preservice teachers come to make sense of and use student ideas in their instruction in ways that closely align with those of their mentors. They also indicate that preservice teachers' integration of experiences from different learning-to-teach contexts in making sense of student ideas may be related to the degree of alignment between mentor teachers' perspectives and goals and the perspectives and goals of the science methods course.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Teaching & Teacher Education
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
The influence of a beginning teacher induction program on the beginning teacher's attainment of the Arizona professional teaching standards as perceived by beginning teachers and school-level administratorsSiqueiros, Alberto Flores (The University of Arizona., 2002)This study examined the effects of a beginning teacher induction program on the attainment of the Arizona Teaching Standards. Quantitative and qualitative perspectives were utilized. Quantitatively, a survey asked teachers to rate their perceptions of their level of attainment of the Arizona Teaching Standards as a result of being enrolled or having been enrolled in a beginning teacher induction program. Further, school-level administrators were surveyed on their perceptions of how well these groups of teachers had attained the Arizona Teaching Standards as a result of having been enrolled in a beginning teacher induction program. Qualitatively, the researcher interviewed school-level administrators to gather their perspectives on the quality of the beginning teacher induction program being utilized. The analysis of the data indicated that the new teachers at the elementary, middle, and high school levels felt strongly that the beginning teacher induction program assisted them in attaining the Arizona Teaching Standards. Additionally, first-year, second-year, third-year, and fourth-year teachers agreed that the beginning teacher induction program assisted them in attaining the Arizona Teaching Standards. It appeared that, as a whole group, beginning teachers agreed that the beginning teacher induction program had aided in their attainment of the Arizona Teaching Standards. Further, elementary school administrators, middle school administrators, and high school administrators were in agreement in their perceptions that the beginning teacher induction program assisted beginning teachers in the attainment of seven of the Arizona Teaching Standards. Also, the analysis demonstrated that at the elementary-level, teachers and administrators differed in their perceptions on two standards. There were no significant findings when comparing the teachers and administrators at the middle school level. However, when comparing teachers and administrators at the high school level, the analysis provided significant findings on eight of the Arizona Teaching Standards. Finally, it appeared that school-level administrators agreed that elements of effective beginning teacher induction were present in the program being utilized in the district of study.
Preservice Elementary Teachers' Actual and Designated Identities as Teachers of Science and Teachers of StudentsCanipe, Martha Murray (The University of Arizona., 2016)Preservice elementary teachers often have concerns about teaching science that may stem from a lack of confidence as teachers or their own negative experiences as learners of science. These concerns may lead preservice teachers to avoid teaching science or to teach it in a way that focuses on facts and vocabulary rather than engaging students in the doing of science. Research on teacher identity has suggested that being able to envision oneself as a teacher of science is an important part of becoming a teacher of science. Elementary teachers are generalists and as such rather than identifying themselves as teachers of particular content areas, they may identify more generally as teachers of students. This study examines three preservice teachers' identities as teachers of science and teachers of students and how these identities are enacted in their student teaching classrooms. Using a narrated identity framework, I explore stories told by preservice teachers, mentor teachers, student teaching supervisors, and science methods course instructors about who preservice teachers are as teachers of science and teachers of students. Identities are the stories that are told about who someone is or will become in relation to a particular context. Identities that are enacted are performances of the stories that are an identity. Stories were collected through interviews with each storyteller and in an unmoderated focus group with the three preservice teachers. In addition to sorting stories as being about teachers of science or students, the stories were categorized as being about preservice teachers in the present (actual identities) or in the future (designated identities). The preservice teachers were also observed teaching science lessons in their student teaching placements. These enactments of identities were analyzed in order to identify which aspects of the identity stories were reflected in the way preservice teachers taught their science lessons. I also analyzed the stories and enactments in order to determine which storytellers were significant narrators for the preservice teachers' identities. The findings from this study show that significant narrators vary among the preservice teachers and include artifacts such as curriculum materials and instructional models in addition to people who are expected to be significant narrators. Furthermore, differences between preservice teachers' actual and designated identities influence opportunities to learn about what it means to be a teacher of science and students. This took different forms with each preservice teacher. In one case the preservice teacher worked to enact aspects of her designated identity and reflected about how she was not quite able to be the teacher of science she wanted to be as a novice teacher. Another case showed how the gap between actual and designated identities could limit opportunities to learn when the preservice teacher's strong actual identity as a novice led her to consider certain aspects of her designated identity as things which could not even be tried at this point. Finally, in the third case the preservice teacher's strong actual identity limited opportunities to develop a designated identity because she did not see herself as being a different kind of teacher of science in the future than she was right now as a student teacher. These findings suggest that supporting preservice elementary teacher identity development as teachers of science is an important part of preparing them to teach science in ways that engage students in scientific practices. Additionally, it is essential to examine identity stories and enactments in concert with each other in order to gain deeper understandings of how identities are developed and put into practice in classrooms.
Teacher Education and Beginning Teachers' Teaching Practices:An Observational Study of First-year TeachersZhang, Jizhi (The University of Arizona., 2007)The purpose of this study was to examine whether first-year teachers' teaching practices improve across time and to identify whether school level (elementary, middle, and high) influences new teachers' teaching practices as measured by the observation instrument. Also, the study examined the relationships between first-year teachers' teaching practices, teacher education, school level, and school SES.The current research included two studies. Study One was carried out in the academic year 2003-2004, and Study Two in year 2004-2005. Both studies involved collecting teaching practices data through observations by trained researchers. Study One data were based upon observations of 113 first-year teachers and Study Two involved 139 first-year teachers. A correlational analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between first-year teachers' teaching practices and school SES. A mixed (2x3x2) Analysis of Variance model was employed to analyze how first-year teachers' teaching practices are influenced by types of teacher education, school level, and school SES.The study found that the majority of beginning teachers not only showed a desirable normative level of teaching practices, but also continued to teach at that level and made improvements as measured by the end of year teaching performance measure.Three main themes were found in this study: (1) Changes in first-year teaching practices across time were not correlated with school SES. (2) Elementary school teachers were observed to be more effective in Classroom Management practices. (3) There were significant interaction (time by teacher education and school level) effects on new teachers' teaching practices in Study Two. The results indicated that the study of teacher education requires a complex design. Different types of teacher preparation paths might suit in different contexts.